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McNair Scholar 2017Taylor Westfall-McCoy

Taylor Westfall-McCoy is a rising junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities. She is majoring in Animal Science through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and is on the pre-veterinary medicine track. She also is working on a minor in the History of Science and Technology. Taylor’s interests are mainly surrounding the study of performance animal care, specifically with equines and dogs. She plans to obtain her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in addition to her PhD in Animal Science.

Westfall-McCoy photo
My dream is to revolutionize the way that people think about the care of their animals. There is much work to be done as far as educating the average pet owner, and I believe that many things can be learned from the performance animal industry.”

Research project

Cold Plasma for Decontamination of Chicken Breast, Romaine Lettuce, and Stainless Steel Surfaces from Multi-Drug Resistant Salmonella Enterica Serovar Heidelberg

Abstract: The economic burden of contaminated foods reaching the dinner table has been well documented, with costs estimated to be between $2.3 and $11.3 billion dollars annually due to non-typhodial salmonella alone. Such cases have been observed in all 50 US states. Over 73% of all non-human isolates of drug resistant Salmonella Heidelberg come from chickens. The recent desire for a majority of the American population to consume products that are deemed more “natural” has contributed to a generation of minimally processed and non-thermal processed food, making the spread of disease and viruses more prevalent—and the use of cold plasma could potentially be offered as a solution. The widely unexplored domain of cold plasma has recently been studied for its ability to disinfect bacteria from various surfaces. The aim of the investigation is to study the efficiency of a 2D-air-based DBD-plasma microdischarge array’s abilities to disinfect three different surfaces, stainless steel, romaine lettuce, and chicken breast, from multi-drug resistant strains of Salmonella Enterica Serovar Heidelberg. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Sagar Goyal is among the most highly recognized and decorated professionals in his fields of study. Sagar received his Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) at Pajnab Agricultural University in 1966, his MSc (Master of Science) from Haryana Agricultural University in 1968, and he then went on to also receive his PhD from Haryana Agricultural University in 1972. Dr. Goyal has a multitude of research interests that include the study of pathogenesis and control of viral infections in livestock and poultry, as well as researching the development of methods for the detection and prevention of human and animal viruses in food, water, and the environment. Sagar Goyal has his name on over 20 published works dating back to 2005. He also has been the recipient of the coveted Pfizer Award for Research Excellence in Veterinary Medicine (2005), the Civil Service Award for Outstanding Faculty (1991), the International Director of Distinguished Leadership, 3rd. Ed. (1990), as well as Honors in MS and PhD Competitive Fellowship in the Department of Atomic Energy (1969-72).

Hamada Aboubakr is a Veterinary Medicine PhD candidate for the University of Minnesota, Twin-Cities. His work surrounds studying the effectiveness of a 2D-air-based DBD-plasma microdischarge array against strains of multi-drug resistant strains of bacteria, particularly Salmonella Enterica Serovar Heidelberg on three surfaces—stainless steel, romaine lettuce, and chicken breast meat.